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December 2002 - Nr. 13

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The Editor
"Spirit of Christmas"
An Invitation
Hier O.K. Berlin!
K-W and Beyond
Herwig Wandschneider
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
A German Legacy
Ham Se det jehört?
Berlin Photo Project
Interest in German
Fotografischer Streifzug
Pustefix Bubbles
Brucerius Ausstellung
German Theatre Reform

Letter from the Editor

GS Hospitality Connections

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

As I write this it is another 10 days to Christmas, the biggest celebration of love and hope we know of. We celebrate it in many different ways, according to our culture. Some customs though are universal, such as concerts. It does not matter much how these concerts are conducted. It is more about being there, being together in the same spirit of the Christmas story: Good will towards man and all other living creatures.

Second AdventThe lessons we could learn from the Christmas story have not been learned in over 2000 years, or else we would not have war on this planet anymore. We would not pay attention to our differences, but celebrate them. We would not point out how others are wrong, but how they are different. We would not criticise an artistic communication, but realize that there is simply Choral Traditionsanother point of view. We would not insist that one religion is more right than another, but allow individual choice and freedom to choose. We would not think people of another skin colour as undesirable, but simply as a matter of having other pigmentation. We would help one another, not hinder each other. We would not stop people from flourishing and prospering, but assist in their success. We would not talk badly about someone, but try and find the good in a person.

Just think what the world could and would be like if we had learned our lesson.

There might be a world without war, without suffering economically, and in any other way. All efforts would be put to good use not wasted on gratuitous mischief. We would have a world without drugs. We would have children that were able to learn something useful. We would not live in fear of extinction. We would live in a world without terrorism. There would be no prisons and a lot less hospitals necessary. We would act more responsible in many ways and therefore there would not be the same problems on this planet. Instead of counting the extinct species we might discover a better way of housing people and saving energy. We would allow a safe method of developing energy without worrying about the cost or the loss of business.

Our considerations about life in general would change completely. If we would err it would be on the side of making something better, not in retaliation of something or someone. We would not have a moral code and the law-enforcement agencies we employ now to keep people in line.

And best of all, we would never have to say we are sorry: Sorry for not doing our duty, sorry for not having been kind, sorry for not having paid that bill, sorry for not having helped.

I can dream, can’t I? I know that we live far removed from an ideal scene. But we must not give up trying, ever. The price is simply too high.

Perhaps we can make some decisions in that direction that might make things better, practise a little more patience, generosity and tolerance with our friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Trying and failing sometimes is better than not having tried at all.

I wish all of you a very good Christmas. Hopefully you find the time to reflect on the purpose of this important holiday.

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


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